Harkness Report THE NEWSLETTER OF THE HARKNESS FELLOWS ASSOCIATION
imon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England, who is due to speak to the HFA on Monday Octobers 31st in London is a Harkness Fellow himself. He spent 18 months in New York in 199495 with bases at the Columbia University School for Public Health and the City’s health department. He will not forget his time at the latter. It was there that he met his wife, Maggie, an American public health specialist. The department was testing a new innovative therapy for homeless people and prisoners suffering from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. It proved so successful that it was introduced into India by WHO to fight TB. Was he daunted at the prospect of becoming the head of the largest employer in Europe with some 1.4 million employees, a budget of £110 billion, and a service that was constantly scrutinised by the media, ministers and high powered lobby groups such as the BMA? Not at all. He could not have been better prepared. After picking up an Oxford degree and an MBA from Strathclyde University, he set out in 1988 on an NHS graduate training scheme in the first week of which he worked as a porter in a Durham hospital. He went on to become a frontline senior manager on multiple fronts: hospitals, mental health, community services, primary care and health commissioning in the North East, the South Coast and London. From there he moved into the heart of Whitehall, first as the principle policy adviser to two successive Labour health secretaries (Dobson and Milburn) and was then poached by 10 Downing Street, which had admired his skills in the formulation of the NHS Plan 2000, which
WHAT’S INSIDE This is the last hard copy of the Harkness Report you will receive. We’ve produced five of them in the last six years. We’ve enjoyed doing it, but we are ready to make way for someone else. Coinciding with our views, the HFA committee had come to the conclusion that the Report should be confined to being online. The printing and the post are expensive. We’ve been online since we started
The changing face of the NHS A profile of Simon Stevens, the Chief Executive of NHS England.
had won universal endorsement from the medical establishment, a wide array of patient groups and the media. He then spent a decade in the international private sector, with an American firm, United Health which provided services in the US, Europe, Brazil, India, China, Africa and the Middle East. From the start of becoming NHS chief on April 1 2014, he made it clear that one of his first priorities would be to correct the most damaging fault in the original NHS structure: a GP service totally separate from hospitals leading to patients with chronic conditions increasingly passed from pillar to post. The financial crisis helped him take up this cause. The need for more collaboration between hospitals, GPs, and social care became acute as local councils, faced with up to 50 per cent cuts to their budgets, were forced to shut down a large number of care homes creating massive bed blocking in hospitals. in 2011, but had produced the hard copy for people where we only had a home address. If you have an email address can you please send an email to Rachel Arnold at email@example.com. Overleaf Judy Hargadon reports on a new survey she has organised to update our records. Her survey form is enclosed with this report. We hope you will enjoy this last bumper issue. It includes all the reguilar features: news on fellows (pg 2 and 3), obituaries which include
Some 44 areas have been identified where this better collaboration is being explored. Under the 2012 Act, which established NHS England, his team are public officials not civil servants, with more freedom to speak out, which he has seized. His well received five year forward plan in October 2014, left no doubt who was in charge. He has been open and forceful about the current government’s squeeze on the service and its readiness to renege on earlier agreements. Between 1948 and 2010 spending on the NHS averaged a 3.7% annual increase. Since 2010 it has averaged 0.9%. He openly admits the new NHS will look different: “It is tempting to think in a country so concentrated that everything should look the same everywhere. I do not go along with the view that one size fits all. I am happy with diversity because different starting points might need different approaches.” Peter Maxwell Davies (pg 14 and 15), two visits by fellows to Eltham Palace (pg 16) and Syon Park (pg 15), a report by Peter Jenkins on the Iran nuclear deal (pg 10), and then the usual succession of lectures examining the refugee crisis, the media, the UK’s problems with the EU, new challenges facing democracies, and the difference between running the Tate and the Royal Opera house. Malcolm Dean Editor and Veronica Plowden Assistant Editor
2016 SURVEY Your help please for our 2016 survey We enclose with this latest Harkness Report a request to send us your up to date contact information. It is over 15 years since our database was updated so this is definitely overdue. And we have an extra reason for wanting to be sure we can easily contact all Harkness Fellows – 2018 sees the Centenary of the setting up of the Commonwealth Fund and we would like to be able to engage with all former Harkness Fellows as plans are developed to celebrate this. For many of you we only have postal addresses, and yet we imagine that most Harkness Fellows will have an email address. The Harkness Fellowships Association plans to catch up with the times – this report is the last one that will be printed and posted to you. In future there will be electronic newsletters. In addition to checking your contact information, we have asked an additional question about your areas of interest. Harkness Fellows have a wide range of careers and expertise as the follow on discussion at our regular topical lectures attests. Knowing more about Fellows’ areas of interest will help us tailor the programme. Please do let us know if you have suggestions of speakers or topics for future gatherings. Living outside the UK? Please still send us your information. We know that you may only occasionally be able to attend our talks or the Harkness Birthday dinner in London, but with the developments in communication technology there may be ways we can get the Harkness Family together without being in the same room. The committee is looking at ways we can enhance our offer for Fellows living in other countries. In case you have mislaid the form, it can also be found on our website www.harknessfellows.org.uk then look for Survey 2016 on the left hand side. If all else fails, please just email Rachel on firstname.lastname@example.org - that way we have your email address and can follow up with other queries. Thank you in anticipation of your survey return. The Harkness Fellows Association Committee Join the Harkness Fellows Association The Harkness Fellows Association is established as a charity with an educational focus. The aims of the association are to keep alive the spirit of the programme and to encourage trans-Atlantic contacts and relationships. To this end it runs a programme of lectures, seminars, workshops and other activities and publishes a newsletter. In the past it has produced a film about the programme, which you can view on our website by clicking on the Harkness Video link. Members get discounted rates for our lectures and through their membership contribution are supporting activities to keep the Harkness Family connected. If you are not member and would like to join please visit our website, www.harknessfellows.org.uk 2 Harkness Report October 2016
Daniela Abravanel (HF 1977-8). Her book Secrets of the Hebrew Alphabet has been translated and published as an ebook. It can be found on Amazon. Adrian Beecroft (HF 1974-6) has become a trustee of the MCC and of the National Science Museum Foundation. Dr Diane Bell (HF 2010-11) is Director of Insight at Cobic Ltd. After her undergraduate degree from the University of Cambridge, Dr Bell completed her medical training at Imperial College Medical School in London, then specialised in internal medicine and public health. Her interests lie in the influences that health care systems have on the practices of individual clinicians. Her Harkness Fellowship was spent under the mentorship of Prof Larry Casalino at Weill Cornell Medical School, New York, and she has been a visiting Fellow at the Kings Fund health policy think tank in London. She has been director of strategy at several payer organisations in the NHS and she led the planning, development and implementation of some of the first large scale capitated outcomes-based contracts in England. She has recently collaborated with Nicholas Hicks (HF1991-92) writing about the lessons beginning to emerge from English developments in value-based and ACO-like care which may have international relevance. Robert Cassen (HF 1959-61) has published Making a Difference in Education: What the evidence says with Sandra McNally and Anna Vignoles, London: Routledge 2015. The book explores why the failings of Britain’s educational system have been so resistant to change. It finds some success stories but not nearly enough. Its remit is wide, looking at schooling from early years to age 16 and entry into further education with a special focus on literacy, numeracy and IT. Paying particular attention to research findings which are strong enough to guide policy, the authors examine teacher performance, school quality and accountability, and the problematically large social gap that still exists in state school education today. Dr Simon Duffy (HF 1994-95) established the Centre for Welfare Reform as an independent think tank in 2009, advocating a radical reform of the welfare state to advance citizenship and protect social and economic rights. The Centre has been a leading critic of the UK’s extreme right-wing Government. The Centre has
established an international network of Fellows and Simon is currently working to establish a new think tank in Finland. www. centreforwelfarereform.org Alison Gomme (HF1990-91) was awarded a CBE last year after retiring from running the Isle of Man prison and probation service for 6 years, following her career as a prison governor. Aphra Green from New Zealand has recently returned from a threemonth Harkness Fellowship, under the Fulbright umbrella, in the USA where she was based in the US Federal Department of Justice. Her research compared evidence-toaction criminal justice reform programmes currently under way in the US, as well as having a particular focus on bail decisionmaking tools there. New Zealand Harkness Fellowships are for emerging New Zealand leaders in any field of study or vocation (excluding health care policy and practice) to study or research in the US for between eight and twelve weeks. Tom Hayhoe (HF1978-1980) is Chairman of West London Mental Health NHS Trust, responsible for local mental health services in Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, and Hounslow, and for Broadmoor Hospital. David Hoare (HF 1975-7) was appointed Chair of Ofsted, Britain’s Schools Inspection Agency, in September 2014. ( Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills). Dr Terry Kemple (HF 1992-3) is currently elected President of Royal College of General Practitioners 2015-2017 Bridget Kendall (HF 1978-80) the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent becomes the first female master of Peterhouse, Cambridge. Peterhouse - Cambridge University’s oldest college - has been admitting women only since 1985. Professor Dixon the outgoing master said: “Bridget will bring to the college her exceptional skills in communication and knowledge of international affairs. She also provides an outstanding role model for students and young academics alike.” David Lodge (HF 1964-65) The paperback edition of his book, Quite A Good Year To Be Born: a Memoir 19351975 was published in January 2016 by Vintage Books. It contains an account of his Harkness Fellowship year in the USA. The hardback edition was published by Secker & Warburg in 2015. Helen Mason (HF 2014-15) Winning a Harkness Fellowship to study for a year in the US at Harvard University was a lifechanging experience for New Zealand’s Bay of Plenty District Health Board chief executive. As well as giving her the opportunity to focus on research into improving the quality of end-of-life care, she also held a parallel fellowship at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Boston, which gave her exposure to a
range of experiences outside health care, such as spending time with astronaut Michael Fossum at Nasa, and with Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Marshall Ganz, a key architect of President Barak Obama’s winning campaign in 2008. On her return, after a period as general manager of innovation, she won a contested recruitment process and took up the top job at the Bay’s biggest employer, with responsibility for 3000 staff and a budget of $706 million. Karen Mumford (HF 1990-91) was awarded a CBE in the New Years Honours list for services to economics and labour market diversity. Neil Smith (HF 1966-68) has jointly published with Nicholas Allott Chomsky: Ideas and Ideals [third edition]. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2016. http://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychlangsci/ research/linguistics Stephen Potts (HF 1986 -87) Retired from his role at the ‘front door’ of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh in March 2014. He returned almost immediately to work with the kidney, liver and pancreas transplant services there, in a post-retirement role as the UK’s first consultant in Transplant Psychiatry. Partly in recognition of his earlier work with A&E and acute medical services for the Scottish Government, he has been awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. He continues his non-medical writing with three feature film screenplays currently in funded development., and several awards won at festivals in New York, Amsterdam, Monaco and Toronto. He still lives in the Scottish Borders with his young family, but after some decades his days on the water have been curtailed after his beloved classic yacht Greylag was wrecked off Argyll in 2011. Prof Richard Templer (HF 1986-88) is Sustainable Development Commissioner for London, pursuing a vision for London to become a major centre for the development of clean technologies. His report was completed in March 2016 and received Mayoral support for the development of a Cleantech Cluster in
West London. He is hoping that the vision will become reality and that the UK will do something significant to combat the causes and effects of climate change. Recently returned 2014 Fellows Ted Adams We returned in 2015 after spending just under a year in California at Kaiser Permanente. On our very first night we experienced an earthquake! I’m an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, practising in Liverpool. My passion is around making it easier for anyone to interact with our health service and in doing so to make the process as smooth and efficient as it can be. This desire to make it as easy for patients and families was brought home when my son needed treatment for cancer in the USA some 5 years ago. We were looked after like family and I wanted to know whether I could bring a sense of this patient focus home. California is a great place to live. I understand what the fuss is about now. It’s only the ability to truly immerse yourself in US life that allows you to understand this. Visiting isn’t the same – yes you see the sights, but you don’t see American life. The beauty of Yosemite and Lake Tahoe versus the grinding state bureaucracies such as the Department of Motor Vehicles are majestic in their own ways when you’re a “non-resident alien” and not just a tourist. What did I learn? The relative political stability of the US healthcare system (despite its greatest upheaval since Medicare) is a strength compared to the political tinkering that goes on in the UK. However, despite the presumed customer focus of what is a medical service industry in the US, the NHS is safer and more convenient (we know as we had a baby out there) than quite of a lot of what the US can offer. There are also fewer earthquakes in Liverpool! Matthew Harris I was based at New York University under the mentorship of Prof James Macinko (UCLA, California) and Dr Don Goldmann (Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Boston). My resarch project examined the
challenges in the uptake of innovations and research evidence from low- and middle-income countries into the US. So-called Reverse Innovations may offer interesting opportunities to bend the cost curve in the US, providing equal or better outcomes at lower cost. The research I conducted during the year has led to several publications in peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Globalization and Health, the Lancet, and the British Medical Journal. Before taking up the Harkness Fellowship, I was an Academic Clinical Lecturer in Public Health but currently I am a Senior Policy Fellow in Public Health at the Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London, led by Prof the Lord Ara Darzi of Denham. Maddy Phipps-Taylor Breaking from a series of roles as a civil servant and management consultant, I embarked on my Harkness adventure to gain a different perspective on health system design. I joined the School of Public Health at University of California Berkeley to research the formation of the new healthcare entities known as ‘Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs)’. These new entities seek to improve health outcomes and people’s experience of care while reducing costs - the holy grail of all health systems around the world. I learnt that ACOs are changing the care services they offer, building advanced digital analytics and developing new organisational alliances to better serve their patients. To see positive results, ACOs are motivating the doctors in their networks to do things differently, not necessarily by paying them differently, but by tapping into their drive to become better doctors and see tangible improvements for their patients. I took my husband, Matt, to California and we both fell in love with the climate, landscape and the lifestyle. We made the most of the adventure by buying a Mustang (called Sally), ticking off many truly American experiences such as going to the Rodeo, and exploring 22 States with road trips and weekends away. Jacob West My fellowship was at Harvard School of Public Health. I remain an advisor to the Harvard Global Health Institute. I am currently National lead for Primary and Acute Care Systems, part of the NHS’ New Models of Care programme. Before taking up my Fellowship I was Director of Strategy at King’s College Hospital, one the largest academic hospitals in the UK, where I led the takeover of two local hospitals and helped establish a major integrated care programme. In 2014 I was seconded to City Hall to help develop a plan for improving London’s health care. Previously I had gained a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. October 2016 Harkness Report 3
want to come clean with you at the start. I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not a human rights activist. But I was a diplomat, and I had an early exposure to refugee issues when I was ambassador in Rome in the nineties. Albanians and Kosovars trying to get into Italy, often in pitifully small boats, and also a lot of people who said they were Kurds and claimed refugee status but who turned out to come from all over the Arab world. In passing this was an early example of two problems that still bedevil the whole immigration issue. One is how you prove someone’s identity if he or she shows up without any papers. The other is the basic distinction between refugees and economic migrants, to which I’ll return. But the numbers then were as nothing compared to the million and more that arrived last year. For Europe, you’d have to go back to 1945 to witness such mass movements. I say “for Europe” because the UNHCR recognises 20 million real refugees in the world today, not counting Palestinians who come under a separate authority, and also not counting the 40 million or so “internally displaced”, that is, people who’ve fled from one bit of their country to another – let’s say in Nigeria but without crossing a border. Even without counting the displaced, Europe’s current woes are only a fraction of the world’s woes, and many refugees today are hosted by some of the world’s poorest countries. I want to focus on the impact that these migrations are having on the Schengen Agreement to abolish Europe’s internal borders, one of the jewels in the European Union’s crown along with the euro; whether free movement in Schengenland will survive; and if there’s time what this might mean for the Union’s future. The Schengen Area The Schengen Area now comprises 26 states, four of which – Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and tiny Liechtenstein – are not EU members. Six of the EU’s 28 states don’t belong to Schengen: the UK and Ireland have opt-outs, and Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus have not yet been admitted. The Convention provides for free movement between Schengen members and for a common external border, that is to say controls on non-EU immigrants at the point of entry into Schengenland, be it a land crossing, a seaport or an airport. If a plane transports people who are refused entry into the Schengen area, its owners have to pay the return ticket and they pay a fine too. So the airlines crack down, but the migrants have naturally turned to people smugglers, the unscrupulous people who ferry refugees in small overcrowded boats across the Med, at a cost of so many 4 Harkness Report October 2016
Sir Tom Richardson
THE REFUGEE CRISIS lives. I suspect that in the early days of Schengen its promoters didn’t pay enough attention to illegal immigration. They may have naively assumed that everyone would queue up obediently at a recognised crossing, with the right papers, or that the leakage wasn’t enough to justify expensive border controls. It was an open secret in Italy, way back in the eighties, that Filipinos could get into Italy from what was then Yugoslavia with the help of a judicious blind eye from local frontier police. Certainly no one thought hard enough about how to control an external border when Greek islands were only a couple of miles or so from the Turkish coast, Italian islands not that far from Libya and Tunisia, and there was a land frontier that stretched right across Europe. People were feeling pretty sunny and relaxed in the nineties. The Berlin Wall had fallen, so had the entire Iron Curtain, physical barriers (save in Cyprus and Belfast) were out of fashion, and no one seems to have wondered how to monitor a porous border thousands of kilometres long. The Arab Spring hadn’t happened. These geographical problems were compounded by the little-known Dublin Agreements that flank Schengen. The Dublin Agreements put the responsibility for processing and fingerprinting an asylum claim onto the first Schengen state that the applicant entered. Nine times out of
ten that has meant Italy or Greece, the states with the longest and least policeable frontiers, and I’m still amazed that this basic defect wasn’t queried at the time. If then after registration an asylum seeker moved to another Schengen country, he or she could be and often was deported back to the country of entry – the so-called Dublin transfers. But Dublin is now almost a dead letter. For years the Italians – who took the brunt of the first migrant wave across the Med – turned a blind eye when their immigrants, washed up in tiny islands like Lampedusa, made it clear that they didn’t want to stay in Italy but to go to places like Germany. Many were not registered in Italy as they should have been. The numbers escalate In 2014 283,000 migrants entered the European Union. Most came by sea, to Italy and to a lesser extent Greece. Of the total, by far the largest contingent were Syrians, some 80,000, but there was also a big influx from Afghanistan and from Eritrea, one of the world’s nastiest little dictatorships. In 2015 at least a million migrants are reckoned to have arrived in Europe, over three times the 2014 figure and still accelerating. FRONTEX, the newish EU border protection agency, says 1.8 million, but a lot of migrants must have been double-counted when first arriving in Greece and then re-entering
Syrian and Iraqi refugees reach the coastal waters of Lesbos in Greece, after having crossed from Turkey. Photo: Ggia/ Wiki Commons
the EU through Hungary. Nearly half the Mediterranean Sea arrivals in 2015 were Syrian, followed by Afghans and Iraqis, and 80% of them took the short sea crossings from Turkey to Greece. The civil war in Libya and the greater dangers of the sea route to Italy have led to a slowdown in African emigration, while the much lower price that smugglers charge for arranging crossings from Turkey to the nearby Greek islands has encouraged a huge swell in Middle Eastern and Asian emigration. All such figures should be taken with a pinch of salt given double-counting, the swamping of frontier posts and the confusion over registration. What is not in doubt, whether genuinely motivated or not, is the number of applications for asylum. In 2014 EU member states received 627,000 such applications: 20% from Syria, and then Afghanistan, Kosovo, Eritrea and Serbia. Of these applicants 185,000 obtained protection status in the course of the year. They became recognised refugees. The main beneficiaries, entirely reasonably, were Syrians, Eritreans and Afghans. As for 2015, a United Nations estimate puts the number of asylum applications at 1.2 million, of which Syrians and Afghans between them will account for nearly half. There has also been a big increase in Iraqi, Albanian and Kosovar applications, and this may be the moment to say that those from Albania and Kosovo and other non-EU
Balkan countries are try-ons that stand no chance of being accepted. The Balkans are not at war, not this time round anyway. So how has the European Union responded? The short answer is, messily. It is easy now to blame Angela Merkel for letting so many migrants into the heart of Europe last autumn, when she promised to register them on the spot despite the Dublin rules. But if she hadn’t, and other countries along the way had likewise closed their frontiers, as they now have, the outcome would have been a build-up in Greece not now but six months ago, coinciding with the height of Greece’s euro crisis. Maybe some migrants would have been deterred from setting out, but the chances are that most would have gambled on somehow getting into Greece and then into the rest of the EU. Of course there are strong humanitarian arguments for generosity. There are 500 million Europeans, and a million new arrivals last year mightn’t seem an insurmountable burden when you think of all that Turkey and Jordan are doing. There are also economic arguments for reversing the EU’s aging population. But there is no political will to do so. Germany, and Angela Merkel, have lost ground. They got their way on the euro but haven’t on migration. It would have been unbelievable only a few months ago that Austria, once Germany’s closest ally, should have convoked a Balkan meeting on the issue without inviting either Germany or Greece. Germany let the migrants in, and it is her neighbours who now aim to suck them out again. In the last six months Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France and Austria have all reintroduced border controls of one sort or another. Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia have also built fences along their southern borders, as Greece and Bulgaria had already done along their border with Turkey. Sweden – a humanitarian beacon – has said it will reject half the 160,000 asylum applications it received last year. Austria, in apparent breach of the Geneva Convention, intends to impose a daily cap of 80 new asylum seekers, and plans to deport 50,000 migrants over the next four years. With Hungary and eight Balkan countries, Austria has also offered to help Macedonia, which isn’t even an EU member, build and police its own fence along the Greek border. With regional elections this weekend, there is growing pressure on Merkel to introduce border controls of her own. Quota problems Two key issues in any solution are whether or not to introduce a Schengen-wide quota system for taking in the genuine refugees to whom we have a legal obligation; and the removal, forcibly if necessary, of economic migrants to whom we don’t. Desperate to shore up Schengen, the
European Commission has twice tried to introduce a quota system. On paper it’s the only way forward. It would clearly help Italy and Greece, and Angela Merkel, who is under rising pressure at home, would welcome it too. The first attempt in 2014 was technically voluntary but infuriated some eastern European countries by being forced through the European Council by majority vote. It has been a complete failure. The Commission had planned to relocate 160,000 applicants. As of February only 414 had been moved. The new plan, to be tabled I believe later this month, is for a mandatory migrant quota system, scrapping the Dublin Regulations and hence the first country of entry rule. I’d be surprised if it passed, and amazed if it actually worked. But that leaves the Greeks in a desperate position. Already reeling from the euro crisis, they fear they will become, in their Prime Minister’s words, the “graveyard of souls”, Europe’s dumping ground, unwilling host to 200,000 and more migrants who don’t want to be in the country. Over 100,000 have already reached the Greek islands from Turkey in the first nine weeks of this year. There are thousands stuck at the Macedonian frontier, and summer, calmer seas and the next wave of migrants will be here soon. The politicians seem to be edging towards an overall settlement: beefing up, and harmonising external border controls, allowing only Syrians and Iraqis into Schengenland, and with Turkey’s help deporting as many as possible of those judged to be simply economic migrants. The practical obstacles are enormous. At the external border you’d need to screen all passports or IDs, not just those of migrants but also those of returning Schengen nationals given the wider terrorist concerns that have arisen since the Paris bombings. You would need to do this against police records, including Interpol’s worldwide data base of stolen and lost passports, some 45 million of them; and you would have to report the results in real time to EURODAC, the EU’s central data base. You would have to clarify the role of FRONTEX and give it more powers to screen migrants. In 2013 and 2014 the EU only managed to send back around 40% of rejected asylum applicants. Nor is it clear to me as I speak today whether complete free movement within the Schengen area can be restored. Many member states have invoked the Treaty to re-establish temporary border controls of up to 6 months. I believe the legal Treaty maximum is 2 years, and there could be pressure to apply that on a Schengenwide basis. To the extent that deportations begin in earnest and are seen to work, that pressure might die down. Contd > October 2016 Harkness Report 5
Sir Tom Richardson
The Refugee Crisis Contd from page 5 But I think borders will be more closely monitored. Would that entail bringing back static frontier posts and frontier police? I’d have thought it unlikely. When you haven’t had border controls for a generation – say between Belgium and France – it will be hard to replace the police you’ve lost and to recreate the old knowledge of the area. But there‘s bound to be more collaboration between national police and intelligence officers, and a lot of people will be queasy on civil liberty grounds. There might be some implications for trade and the internal market if vehicle checks were stepped up at the national borders, leading to long queues and higher transport costs. An EU on the defensive Beyond all this lie some big questions about Europe’s future. What if anything can the EU do to help bring about peace in the Middle East, or to help failed states in Africa? The mood has shifted against intervention and the EU seems very much on the defensive. Yet unless some way can be found to tackle these various crises at source Europe will be exposed for years ahead to new flows of refugees. And what of our humanitarian credentials? The New York Times has criticised Europe’s lack of humanity throughout the crisis, but while I admire its liberal attitudes it tends – as many Americans do – to think of Europe as a single entity, to disparage nationalism as outmoded, and to assume that Europe, like Canada, Australia and the US itself, is a country or collection of countries founded on immigration. I myself believe that the majority of European citizens, including our own, want to help the genuine refugees. But fears have been stoked by terrorism, by wider concerns about the huge preponderance of young men among the
Families wait in long lines for food in Indomeni, Greece. Photo: Heather Murdock
6 Harkness Report October 2016
refugees, and by the perceived difficulties of integration, at least in the short term. Unemployment is another major factor, for example in France and Italy which, it so happens, are not countries that the migrants themselves favour. Above all, people are bemused. Almost no one can now remember a time when Europe was so swamped with refugees. We desperately need a period of stability while we deal with asylum applications and try to integrate those who qualify into society. If that means cracking down on rejected applicants in a way that many may find distasteful, I am afraid it is the price we have to pay. And what of Britain? Until a year or so ago, the debate in this country centred on issues that I haven’t even touched on: how to reduce legal migration, that is to say nonEU citizens who enter this country legally, with a visa; and how to reduce immigration from other European countries. The first issue will always be with us. The second issue will hang on the referendum’s outcome, but we all know that there are labour shortages in the UK that immigrants fill. On refugees, debate so far has centred on what will happen at Calais if the UK were to vote to leave. Would the French tear up the 2002 treaty and require UK immigration procedures to take place at Dover and other UK ports rather than on French soil? Views are mixed, and we won’t know till after the vote. More clear-cut, I think, is the future of Dublin transfers if we left. I cannot imagine that Italy, for example, would be willing to take back migrants who had registered in Italy but found their way to Britain. And we have used the transfer system more heavily than most countries. The big picture is that over the years Britain has been generous to refugees. As recently as a year ago we were in fourth place in the EU for successful asylum registrations. In the present crisis we have played a relatively minor role, but we have agreed to take in 20,000 Syrians directly from the camps, and I suspect will take more as time goes on. We finance the camps around Syria generously, albeit no doubt for a mixture of reasons. If what I have said has any lesson for us, it is that migrants are no respecters of national boundaries, not even island ones, and that we need to work with our European neighbours on data exchanges, police and intelligence collaboration, action against smugglers and a host of other matters. Whether we stay in or leave, migrants will still want to reach Britain. Splendid isolation is not an option.
Why do Europe W
ell before the EU referendum in June, 2016, Sir Stephen Wall private secretary to multiple foreign secretaries, EU adviser to two prime ministers (Major and Blair), former UK Permanent Representative to the European Union (1995-2000) and an official historian at the Cabinet Office with a remit to write the official history of Britain’s relationship with the rest of the European Union provided some succinct and surprising answers to the question we had posed. He didn’t go so far as Sir Humphrey Appleby, who in a famous ‘Yes Prime Minister’ TV programme, declared the UK’s Foreign Office had spent 500 years seeking to create a Disunited Europe in order to divide and rule it. And having failed from the outside, we went inside where “we are free to make a complete pig’s breakfast of the whole thing”. But it didn’t start happily in Sir Stephen’s story either. When officials from the original six nations met in Messina to map out an outline for the European Economic Community prior to the 1957 Treaty of Rome, which created it, the six sent seriously senior officials from their foreign offices while the UK opted for a junior official in the Department of Trade and Industry. Much earlier, while Churchill had spoken in 1946 in support of post world war two moves to bring European nations closer together so that they could never again wreak such damage on each other, he didn’t challenge the post war Labour Government ‘s decision to turn down a 1951 invitation to join European Coal and Steel Community,
Photo: Dave Kellam/ Wiki Commons
the British find so hard to take? the fore-runner to the EEC. Both France and Germany were in favour of the UK being a member but at the critical moment, the receipt of the invitation, the Prime Minister, Clement Attlee was in hospital, and Herbert Morrison, who was acting Prime Minister, refused it on the grounds that “the Durham miners would never accept it”. De Gaulle veto By the early 1960s with the UK economy stuck in a rut while France and Germany were clocking up a strong recovery, Harold Macmillan, UK’s Tory Prime Minister, applied to join in 1961. The French president, Charles de Gaulle was opposed and vetoed it in 1963 for multiple reasons. He was concerned that the English language would take over from French as the EEC official language; believed the UK was more interested in links with the US rather than Europe; and perhaps most important of all saw the UK as a threat to his goal of using the EEC to amplify France’s voice in world affairs. As President Kennedy noted on the day of the veto, one cockerel on one dung hill was OK, two cockerels on one dung hill not OK. Ten years on from 1963, the UK along with Denmark and Ireland who like the UK had applied in 1963, were finally admitted. De Gaulle was no longer in office. Denmark and Ireland had held referenda, which had approved the move. The UK’s referendum came after it had already entered in 1975. The move was supported by all three main parties and most of the national press. Two thirds of voters were in favour. Even Margaret Thatcher, as leader of the Conservative opposition, campaigned for a
yes vote. But Europe has been a toxic issue for the UK, not just because it has caused divisions between the two main parties, but also deep division within the two. Were the British people sold a false bill of goods in 1975: a UK veto as well as parliamentary sovereignty? Both Harold Wilson, the Labour leader and Ted Heath, the Tory leader, thought they would run it. But so did Brandt, Schmidt, Pompidou and Giscard. Up Yours Delors The divide between Britain and Brussels grew wider in the 1980s when Jacques Delors became President of the Commission in 1985, a French socialist who served three terms as Commission President between 1985 and 1995. Europe was on a march towards political union. Delors believed a ‘single market’ free of barriers to free trade along with free movement of capital and labour would revive European integration by spilling over from the economic arena into the political .This was widely seen as a necessity if Europe was to compete with the US. But not in Britain. The Sun tabloid was vehemently opposed running a front page splash opposing greater integration under the headline: ‘Up Yours Delors’. Margaret Thatcher won her famous rebate on the UK’s EC contributions in 1984 on the grounds that it was receiving far lower agricultural subsidies than other states, particularly France. Four years later she delivered her uncompromising Bruges speech in which she claimed she had not rolled back the frontiers of the British state only to see them re-imposed by a
Brussels superstate. This was in response to the 1987 Single European Act, which abolished national vetoes in a host of areas, increased the legislative powers of the European parliament, and called on member states to create an “European Union”. Thatcher’s famous response was : “No! No! No!” But Thatcher was unable to stop the the European march towards a political union. She had been replaced by the time her successor, John Major, signed the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. This involved further transfers of powers to the new European Union, but Major achieved opt outs from two crucial parts: monetary union and the social chapter. This still failed to pacify the Eurosceptics in or outside his party, later labelled by David Cameron as “swivel- eyed fruit cakes”. A third opt out was achieved in 1995 when both the UK and Ireland refused to join the Schengen pact, under which member states ended controls on their internal borders allowing free movements for EU citizens. What changed? Sir Stephen was speaking a long time before the 2016 referendum, but he noted a huge negative shift of attitudes in the national press . What he missed was the increased alienation among the public. Listing what was good: He ticked off enlargement; single world; no federal super state -- the EU does not run health, education, police, armed services, judicial system, or fiscal policy. What was wrong? He listed lack of leadership; too diffuse; the democratic deficit; Euro crisis; and the feeling that the global world has overtaken the need for regional organisation. October 2016 Harkness Report 7
Richard Hooper’s speech at the annual Harkness dinner
oining the BBC in 1963 as a general trainee, but with no clear vocational passion at that time, I had my first media lesson from the editor of Radio Newsreel. I was preparing my first ever piece to broadcast for the programme, 6.30 to 7.00 weekday nights. I cannot now remember the subject. He asked me to go into the studio and read the script, whilst he recorded it. I did. I came out. He seized the script and told me to go back into the studio and speak it freely – without a script. Somewhat taken aback, I did. We compared the recordings. No contest. Writing for reading is fundamentally different from writing for speaking. Different media. This begins to be interesting, I remember thinking. Many years later I had the delight of talking with that most distinguished of Harkness Fellows – Alistair Cook. He was speaking at the memorial service for Charles Siepmann, one of my Harkness mentors in 1967, based at NYU. Charles was Director of the Spoken Word at the BBC in the 1930s and left the UK for the USA in 1939 probably due to his German name. I asked Alistair Cook whether he in any way ad libbed his Letter from America, it always sounded so fresh and organic with long sentences and parentheses which we radio newbies had been taught to avoid. He replied: “Every word in Letter from America is in the script, no ad libbing. I speak the script out loud into my typewriter as I type.” Writing for speaking. This early rather fumbling interest in differences between media brings me to the Harkness. I was fortunate. I was introduced to a Jesuit priest Father John Culkin who turned out to be the John the Baptist for Marshall McLuhan, the great Canadian thinker and media philosopher in the late 1960s at the height of his considerable powers. I sadly never met McLuhan but devoured his books and sat at the feet of John the Baptist. Surrounded in cities like New York or Chicago with endless advertising, outdoor, radio, television, newspapers, endless media messages from by British standards huge numbers of television and radio stations, McLuhan was instantly understandable. He was less 8 Harkness Report October 2016
understandable, less appreciated in London of those years – a capital city far less awash with media messages, three television channels only in those pre-Channel 4, presatellite television, pre-Freeview days. McLuhan was the first to talk of the “global village” that was being created by communications media – an extraordinarily accurate prediction for 1968. The internet today is a global communications system, careless of territorial boundaries, creating McLuhan’s global village. ‘The medium is the message’ But McLuhan is best remembered for his cryptic, opaque words: “the medium is the message”. For me these five words proved, unexpectedly, to be the source and driving force for my career-long interest in the media. I took them to mean that each medium of communication has different characteristics specific to its architecture. Writing for reading is different from writing for speaking. My passion was aroused. In a recent interview the artist Grayson Perry talked of the “materiality of objects” – this is the same. The materials you use, the media you use affect what you are trying to say – for Grayson Perry his tapestries and vases.
Writing for reading is fundamentally different from writing for speaking
You may say that that each communications medium having different characteristics is obvious. But in fact it is not obvious – and it certainly was not obvious to me in 1968. The 1960s and 1970s allowed me, armed with McLuhan insights, a close up look at the different characteristics of the mass media. The first key characteristic of mass media such as television is economic. The Crystal Palace transmitter to the south of us across the river, emitting broadcast signals, costs the same to operate whether one television set or one radio set is tuned in or millions of sets are tuned in. The marginal costs of transmission per new additional user are zero. This economic fact should be at the heart of any understanding of mass media’s power and ubiquity and commercial importance. Let us fast forward to the arrival of the mass-mad medium of the internet. The marginal costs
THE MEDIA: MASS OR MAD? of the next user to click on the mouse to watch a live streamed movie, are not zero. There are additional costs per new user in relation to bandwidth and to website server capacity. I well remember a Royal Television Society conference at Cambridge some ten years ago predicting the early death of television and its replacement by IPTV – Internet Protocol Television. Well those Crystal Palace economics will keep traditional television and radio in business for a while to come. Especially if broadcasters understand and exploit the unique characteristics of their medium – for example big live events that exploit zero marginal costs, attracting large audiences. A second key characteristic. Traditional television and radio are one way – the Crystal Palace transmitter gives us no ability to communicate back. The crucial characteristic of the internet is that it is two way, carried on the modern broadband telephone network. Broadband speeds are measured for downstream traffic – the large amount of stuff I call down from the internet and upstream traffic – the smaller amounts of stuff such as a new email which I send back to and through the internet. In the late 1970s working for Clive Hollick in the private sector, and then the early 1980s inside BT, I helped pioneer the first version of the internet - viewdata/Prestel. 24 lines of 40 characters in seven colours on the television set fed by big computers over the phone line. Prestel’s downstream speed was 1200 kilobits per second and
Marshall McLuhan was the first to talk of the “global village” that was being created by communications media – an extraordinarily accurate prediction for 1968. Photo: Wikicommons
the upstream speed was 75 kilobits per second. Laughable today. But that was the speed of the narrowband copper-based public telephone service. Today modern broadband speeds, depending upon packet switching not circuit switching, are measured in megabits per second and even gigabits per second. Packet switching is another extraordinary invention – the twin of the internet, born in America in 1967 in the womb of American military defence. Messages are cut up into small pieces – packets – with addresses on the front of each packet. Those packets are sent separately through the network not necessarily in the right order not necessarily with the same routeing, and are reassembled in the right order at the receiving end. This makes for a highly cost effective use of network capacity. Unlike traditional circuit switching where my telephone call from London to Sydney requires an open line dedicated solely to me all the way through different exchanges across those twelve thousand miles. The rise of the mobile But there is one other important characteristic of broadcasting which increasingly complicates the policy debate. Broadcasting uses spectrum, that is to say wireless frequencies through the air. Yet television and radio are essentially fixed – the tv set sits fixed in the living room. But they still use valuable wireless spectrum. Mobile phones are mobile. They absolutely need spectrum. So over the next few
years, more and more fixed broadcasting is likely to transfer to the internet, freeing up spectrum for mobile phone operators who need more and more of it each year. Last year in the UK data use on mobile networks grew by a massive 65% over 2014. Worldwide there are 7 billion mobile phone subscriptions, a penetration rate of 97%, up from a penetration rate of around 10% in 2000. All this needs more and more spectrum. We shall end up with mobile operators providing our phone service and fixed optic fibre under the ground providing our internet. The fixed phone, circuit switching, the red telephone boxes and copper will all be gone. But let me look at the characteristics of media from another point of view – how we consume media. Most of the time we are in one of two modes. Information retrieval or browsing. Google and the internet are very powerful at information retrieval. Beating encyclopaedias and yellow pages into commercial decline. I know I was on the Yellow Pages board. But how do you know on the internet that the answer is accurate? I will come back to that. When we open the newspaper in the morning or switch on Radio Four, we have no specific questions in mind. We want to browse. We want to say to the editor of the Financial Times or the editor of The Today Programme – tell us what
we should read, listen to and think about today. I would wish to argue to you that the traditional mass media from the analogue age are much better at allowing us to browse than the internet is today in the digital age. Size of screen is one issue. The double page spread of a broadsheet newspaper beats a mobile screen any day – for browsing but not of course for information retrieval. Browsing is rather like high explosive ammunition in tanks. If it lands near the target, it still works. It does not have to be pinpoint accurate like armour piercing, like information retrieval. BBC’s i-player Now a step change is happening in television consumption. The BBC’s i-player is leading that change. The vast majority of viewing is still live, still has a browsing component. But we are beginning to seek out and watch only the things we want to watch when we have the time – information retrieval if you like video style. We are beginning to watch more and more stuff on demand, using streaming technologies like the i-player. Streaming is the internet’s answer to broadcasting. This move to on demand is even truer of the younger generation than our generation. We are no longer all watching the same programme together at the same time, as a community. That might be a cause for regret. Contd> October 2016 Harkness Report 9
The Media – Mass or Mad? Contd from page 9 Inexorably, I believe, we are moving away from the traditional mass media world, characterised by browsing, one way, passive, fixed in time and space, and moving towards a very different world which is much more information retrieval, much more individualised in character – family members watching different stuff on different screens in different parts of the house not sitting together in the living room in front of the telly. A more fragmented world, very mobile, two way, not fixed in time and space. Less mass and more mad perhaps. But this new world, created by the internet using the digital language of 0s and 1s, should not be embraced uncritically. There are many things about this new world which need open debate not uncritical embrace. We may need difficult domestic and international legislation and regulation which will be much to the alarm of the digital enthusiasts. My internet right or wrong. As we all know, cyber attacks come from North Korea and Russia not just from the schoolboy in his bedroom next door.
But this new world, created by the internet using the digital language of 0s and 1s, should not be embraced uncritically. Let me return to the issue of accuracy already mentioned, The Content Board of Ofcom (which I chaired ten years ago) has a statutory duty to regulate on radio and television accuracy & impartiality, fairness & privacy, harm & offence. Can that be imposed on the global internet – most unlikely. So we look for trusted brands, ft.com for example. But then there is phishing spelt p h i s h – when you get an email from a brand that is counterfeit and you unknowingly give up data to fraudsters. There is the even darker side of the internet – 40% of searches going after pornography. Cyber terrorism. Cyber bullying of the worst sort – hugely assisted by the digital liking for and acceptance of anonymity. Then there are all the complex issues about big data, surveillance and privacy. There are two types of surveillance. 10 Harkness Report October 2016
The State carries out surveillance in order to identify a small group of dangerous people amongst the wider populace. But the internet tech companies carry out “surveillance” on all of us, the wider populace, in order to find out about our browsing histories and likes/dislikes - in order to monetise us. Most of the internet is free to be paid for by advertising – just like ITV or Channel 4. Privacy as we used to know it is a relic of the past. Act on the assumption that nothing today is hidden from view or will stay hidden from view. So the world of media is going from traditionally mass to potentially mad. But it is the speed of change that is so evident. We are living through Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” and at speed. Back to 1963, BBC Radio Newsreel. I remember at an editorial meeting suggesting a news item. It was turned down because “it is not in the newspapers today”. Before World War 2 the BBC was not allowed to broadcast news until the evening so as not to compete with newspapers. That staid hierarchical media world is gone for ever. The great strength of the internet is that it is not a small elite talking one-way to the huddled masses. Instead of one to many we have many to many, thanks to digital. The digital world is more transparent, less elitist, more competitive. News is global and ubiquitous. So the internet, itself global and ubiquitous, loves news. But some old verities never change. The technology may change but certain issues will not. Obscurantism. Let me therefore end on a wonderful quote from the great American newsman Dan Rather: “…news organisations and teams within those organisations have to have the guts and the backbone to dig into stories that people in power don’t want the public to know. If you take the attitude that the public needs to know what somebody in power doesn’t want them to know, that’s news. Most of the rest of what passes for news is propaganda or advertising.” (The Guardian, Monday 31 August 2015, page 30) The digital world, for all its dark side, helps Dan Rather’s concern rather than hinders him. Richard Hooper (HF 1967-8) covered 35,000 miles through 31 states in 21 months on his fellowship.
How the Iran nuclear deal was achieved W
hen I wrote for the Newsletter, in April 2012, about the perception that Iran’s nuclear programme was a threat to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, I explained why it was rational to hope that a diplomatic process launched in Istanbul that month would bear fruit eventually. I warned, though, that the process might founder on mistrust, misunderstanding and political opposition in Tehran and Washington DC. Well, a nuclear agreement with Iran finally emerged in July 2015. It has since survived some fierce opposition in the US, where many still detest Iran’s Islamic governing class; and it entered into force, endorsed by the UN Security Council, on 16 January. The parties to the agreement are Iran, the US, the UK, France, Germany (the three EU member states that attempted to solve the problem between 2003 and 2005), Russia and China. The catalyst proved to be the election of Hassan Rouhani to the presidency of Iran in June 2013 and his decision to make Mohammad Javad Zarif foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator. Zarif had been Iran’s ambassador to the UN ten years before and had led for Iran in the negotiations with the UK, France and Germany that nearly produced an agreement in 2005.. He came to his new
The agreement is unlikely to usher in friendlier relations between the US and Iran. Iran’s Supreme Leader still sees the US as an enemy of Iran and wants to preserve Iranian society from American values. The conventional (but inaccurate) view in Washington is that Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism, and that Iran is not entitled to develop and possess ballistic missiles.
President Rouhani has been received warmly in Paris and Rome. Photo: Wikicommons
assignment with a clear view of how the problem could be solved, and enjoying the confidence of both Iran’s Supreme Leader and key American contacts from his New York days. The process also benefitted from a change, in early 2013, at the top of the US State Department. Diplomacy comes more naturally to John Kerry than to Hilary Rodham Clinton. And Kerry proved more resistant to Israeli lobbying for terms of agreement that Iranian negotiators would have to reject. The Deal The agreement, which runs, including five annexes, to over one hundred pages, can be boiled down to a few essentials: • Iran has reaffirmed its commitment, as a party to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), to refrain from manufacturing or acquiring nuclear weapons; • Iran has volunteered restrictions on its civil nuclear programme; these reduce to zero the potential for Iran to use its civil nuclear facilities to produce a nuclear weapon quickly; • Iran has offered unprecedented access to its nuclear facilities to International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors for verifying the absence of weapon-related work; • The US and its allies have acknowledged that Iran is entitled to make peaceful use of nuclear technology;
• Most UN, and EU sanctions have been lifted and some US sanctions suspended. The restrictions on Iran’s civil nuclear activities will lapse in 2031. At that point Iran’s leaders will be free to expand the programme – but only for peaceful purposes. Iran will still be bound by the NPT. Its nuclear facilities will still be subject to frequent international inspections. The agreement has not resolved one question: Were the US and EU right to believe, when the controversy erupted in
The catalyst proved to be the election of Hassan Rouhani to the presidency of Iran in June 2013 2003, that Iran’s leaders were planning to acquire nuclear weapons? An IAEA investigation, now closed, into allegations that Iran engaged in nuclear weaponrelated research between the mid-80s and 2003 proved inconclusive. The probability is that during those years the Iranian intention was to create options but to refrain from engaging in anything that would amount to a breach of Iran’s nuclear non-proliferation obligation.
New Tehran - Washington channels However, the agreement has opened up channels between Tehran and Washington. These can and perhaps will be used to test the Rouhani government’s assurance that Iran is intent on playing a stabilising role in the Middle East. Iran is on good terms with the governments of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Iran and the US have a common interest in restoring peace to Syria, and countering Sunni extremism across the region. By contrast Europe and Iran are eager to exploit the resolution of nuclear concerns to rekindle friendly relations. President Rouhani has been received warmly in Paris and Rome. European Ministers have flocked to Tehran. Export credit agencies have resumed cover. Even the British government has re-opened the British embassy in Tehran and has been encouraging trade missions to Iran. Major European banks, however, are still holding back. Bitter experience has taught them to beware of the pitfalls of US sanctions legislation. The US Treasury has already amassed $200 billion from the prosecution of US entities and foreign entities with US business interests for sanctions-related offences. Congress is currently awash with proposals for creating sanctions to punish Iran for sponsoring “terrorism”, abusing human rights and testing ballistic missiles. It is from the US that the greatest threats to the survival of the nuclear agreement is likely to come. A new Congress in 2017, for instance, and a new President may combine to renege on the deal. Much then would depend on Europe. If EU member states continued to honour their commitments, so too, in all probability, would Iran. Peter Jenkins (HF 1971-73) was a diplomat for 33 years during which he served as British Ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) set up to promote peaceful use of nuclear energy and inhibit its military use. A main focus of his time there (2001 to 2006) was the Iranian nuclear controversy. October 2016 Harkness Report 11
Can democracies solve their own problems? F
ew people could be better qualified than Bronwen Maddox to answer the question posed above. As a former editorial writer on the Financial Times, Chief Foreign Commentator on the Times, and Editor of Prospect for the last five years, she has spent many years monitoring the state of democracy in the world. She was well aware of the string of events that have made the question all too relevant. One by one she picked them off, the economic, political and international developments that have raised such doubts. First there were the three ‘Ds’ – debt, deficits and demography. Neither debt nor deficits were new problems, but demography certainly was. The growth in older people was generating serious challenges for health, social care services and state pensions. Eventually there would have to be a bonfire of previous promises and a re-writing of existing social contracts. It was going to be enormously unpopular reinforcing widespread public mistrust of traditional political parties on the Left and Right of many western developed states. There already was much for populists to feed on: the freeze on wages going back 20 years; the fall in growth; add in two serious international wars, a deeply unpopular one (Iraq) that was lost and cost over £10 billion, generating 134,000 civilian deaths and over 5,000 military ones. The second, a much longer war in Afghanistan further demonstrated the tight limits on outside intervention achieving change in states without the basic structure of government. This was further eroded by the failure of the ‘Arab Spring’ Reckless banks and a squeezed poor The list did not stop there. There was the financial meltdown in the autumn of 2008 generated by the reckless investments of big banks in toxic assets and the billions of pounds that had to be spent to save them from bankruptcy. Over and above the £850 12 Harkness Report October 2016
billion spent in the first 18 months in the UK alone was how little bank behaviour changed with respect to pay bonuses, their failure to recognise their culpability in the financial crisis, or acceptance of how ‘socially useless’, to use the words of their chief regulator, Adair Turner, many of their activities were. What made these expenditures, particularly in the UK look more pernicious, was the way these bank subsidies coincided with massive squeezes on the poor through crude cuts to benefits and tax credits. Internationally, the age of big deals, such as happened post second world war – the UN, IMF and World Bank -- was disappearing. Kissinger’s ‘world order’ was frayed and the US view no longer prevailed. Mass migration was challenging international accord. Binary divisions in the US were choking up the federal system and could even spread to Germany. Finally there were wider doubts about old ideals of liberal democracy. In the US there was a tendency to think others must share
Neither debt nor deficits were new problems, but demography certainly was
Lehman Brothers Headquarters in New York on Bankruptcy Day 15 September 2008 Photo: Robert Scoble
them – “Why do they hate us?” The EU, in a more worldly way, was susceptible to its own myths, “while rightly crediting the move from fascism, military regimes, ignored how much Greece, Italy, Spain, had not changed, nor had Bulgaria and Romania”. The optimistic story Undeterred Bronwen remained optimistic about the degree to which democracies can solve their own problems. She went on:”Politics and economics are tough but we are working through these problems with speed, resilience and innovation. If you look at science, technology and business we are in an extraordinary fertile period of change. We are living through a revolution which the world envies and from which it benefits.” Looking at microeconomic answers she conceded there were long running intractable problems, not restricted to the UK , involving education, skills, infrastructure and housing. But she pointed to Charles Goodhart’s articles in Prospect, which suggestedtrends could push up wages and push down inequality, because the proportion of the population that was working was falling so making labour more in demand . “People were finding ways to work longer, slowly. Hugely unpopular to say so, but this is going to be the future. More work, property will pay for pensions and healthcare shortfalls. Death of inheritance.” The rise in growth in the UK and US was partly, as Ben Bernanke, economist and chair of the board of governors of the US Federal Reserve System, had noted, was the effect of the quantitative expansion, the biggest economic experiment. Belated reforms on banking had imposed stricter capital holdings and curbs on risky lending. Internationally the Paris agreement on global warming had shown coalitions of the willing were still possible. The nuclear agreement with Iran reached in July 2015 had been endorsed by the UN Security Council in January 2016. (See Peter Jenkins article) A technological revolution could help healthcare and continue lengthening lifespans. Current projections suggest one in three children born in developed states in 2012 could live to one hundred years. Democracies were entering a new age.
hich would you think is the most daunting job: Deputy Director at the Tate or Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House? Alex Beard, who has held both posts, suggested to Management Today that it was the Opera House: “This is a very ‘peopley’ job. This means that many things can go wrong, which gives it a singular daily frisson. Thething that can happen to the Tate is that some pictures might get nicked. Which they did once when we lost two Turners at an exhibition in Germany. We got them back eventually but it took 10 years.” But in an illuminating address to Harkness Fellows before that magazine article was published, he put the see-saw down on the other side:”In some ways the ROH is less daunting than the Tate. If there was a fire at the Tate and the Turners go up in smoke, they could not be restored. If there was a fire at the Garden, we could return within 10 months.” Beard has served seven years at the Arts Council of England (1986-93), 19 years at the Tate (1994-2013), and had chalked up three at the Opera House when he spoke to us. He made his name at the Tate, where its director Nick Serota, asked him to assess three possible London sites to expand the institution. He chose the most intimidating, the Bankside Power station on the Thames. This was accepted and Beard given the responsibility for supervising the project. The Tate went from an organisation of 330 people where 85% of the finance came from the government to 1,000 employees where the government provided only 32% of the costs. But what Tate Modern did provide was a huge increase in visitors. Some five million in its first year. An american fund raising road It was at the Tate that Beard recognised the era of generous public subsidies to the arts was coming to an end. Together with Serota he took to the American road of fund raising concentrating on wealthy philanthropic donors and corporates. Beard openly admits he is fond of fund-raising and has won a reputation as one of the cleverest and most persuasive of fundraisers in the field. He has even advised the Department of Culture, Media and Sport on the potential that philanthropy offers. This skill must have been a big factor in winning his Royal Opera job when Tony Hall announced he was leaving in early 2013 to run the BBC. Before Hall the Opera House had been in turmoil losing five directors in five years. Beard inherited a much more stable institution. Ironically although best known for his role at the Tate, Beard’s first love had always
THE CHALLENGE OF ART AND OPERA been opera. He was taken to the Upper Slips by his mother at the age of 11 and became a board member of Glyndebourne Opera in 2008. So he was not unfamiliar with the challenge when he reached Covent Garden five years later. He told us: “I am not a polymath. I’m a magpie. I once plucked a cello, try to use my bike to get to work, and am a member of a cricket club. I do not set targets but do set a direction of travel. You need a steely nerve and a vigilant eye on finance. My principle job is to look out for people with skills. One aim is to create a new work in every season.” He said he loved the job: “Day after day we get 300 people to do something which is almost impossible: 100 below the stage (orchestra), 100 on the stage and 50 backstage.” Widening as well as increasing audiences He thought the organisation was in a reasonable state but there were serious challenges ahead. The New York Met has been the first opera house to broadcast its programmes in the 1930s and the first to use cinemas to widen its audience. The ROH had followed suit with cinemas in the last decade. Last year 740,000 people attended theatre performances, another 740,000 watched the operas and ballets in 478 UK cinemas, and further thousands in cinemas of 48 overseas cinemas. Last year Covent Garden performances achieved an occupanacy of 96%, an attendance rate only exceeded by the Vienna Opera House. It involved 41 shows delivering 500 performances, the most intensely used theatre in Europe. Audiences had widened as well as increased. Cinemas were offered six operas and six ballets a year. The theatre was not just open for the rich – 50% of audiences earned less than £40,000 and 40% were under 35. Theatre prices were half the rate
of the Met’s: 50% at or below £50; 40% at £40 or less, special offers for students. Marshall McLuhan was the The company was lucky in having a theatre first to talk of the “global in the centre of the city to attract tourists. village” that was being It had another large building in Thurrock, created by communications near to the Thames Gateway, where all the media – an extraordinarily sets are built and most of the costumes accurate prediction for 1968. designed andPhoto: created. Wikicommons Beard was unequivocal that even with reduced public subsidies the company still had an accountability to its audiences. This ranged from improving conditions within the theatre , organising more lectures on forthcoming events, and widening outreach programmes to local schools. On the latter he noted “We should do our bit to help ensure every child has access to our culture.” He is in talks with the Women’s Institute with respect to encouraging more group visits. Some of this was already underway in the years before he became CEO. It now includes workshops in schools, formal apprenticeships in backstage work and set building; community and participatory projects that led to 30,000 people attending performances along with 20,000 more through targeted schemes for families, students and isolated older people. He went out of his way to express admiration for the talent in the ballet corp, noting two exceptional dancers with ‘muscular skeletons’ and an ability to dance like ‘liquid mercury’. The company is in touch with China, through its embassy, to act as an advisory body for the 32 new ballet companies being created there. Finally on finance he recognised the growing number of older people in society would require more funding from health, social care and pension departments. His fund-raising skills are being heavily engaged on three to four nights a week with potential donors in excellent seats and dining between acts. It is not helping his waist line, but in his words ‘public funding is so last century. October 2016 Harkness Report 13
Obituaries Peter Maxwell Davies (HF 1962-64) The obituary pages in both the UK and US newspapers were cleared for lengthy and laudatory tributes to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies who died aged 81 on March 14, 2016 from leukaemia. An early paragraph in the Daily Telegraph tribute was echoed in some of the others: “Although ranked among the world’s most eminent contemporary composers, Davies’s music remained within a distinctly British idiom, succeeding the close-worked tradition of Elgar, Tippett and Britten. Yet there was often a Scottish hue to his work: in 1970 he had fallen in love with Hoy in the Orkneys, where the sea and the landscape had a profound effect on his music.” Others noted he was later to move to an even more remote Orkney island, Sanday. The New York Times quoted an interview Max had given to the UK’s Sunday Times describing how as a child he had heard his uncle, in argument with his parents, declaring ‘Surely you aren’t going to let that lad of yours do music when I can offer him a brick laying apprenticeship?’ But they did, he was their only child and had gained a scholarship to go to the Royal Manchester College of Music, now known as the Royal Northern College of Music.
Max’s time at Princeton There was an endearing account of Max’s behaviour on his Harkness Fellowship at Princeton by Mark De Voto, an American musicologist and composer, who had been a Princeton student at the same time. Writing in the Boston Musical Intelliger, a virtual journal and classic music blog on March 15 De Voto recalled: ‘My classmates always wondered why he wanted to join us – unless as a third year wryly said, he came to learn how to stop composing. Nevertheless he had joined in seminars and complimented me on my presentation on musical instruments, but expressed exasperation the next week, saying he could not understand how a group of a dozen students could spend three hours trying to make a schenker graph of the first 8 bars of the slow movement of Beethoven’s Opus 109. ‘Max asked me what I would recommend for bell sounds that would be practical in a theatre, he was then well advanced writing his Opera Taverner, about the great Tudor composer’s trial for heresy.’ De Voto had recommended that he experimented with spiral coils of steel wire like those used in 19th century American striking clocks, but in the end he chose higher 14 Harkness Report October 2016
registered instruments.’ De Voto added: “Max had made occasional trips back to Europe for performances of his compositions, but he stuck around until Spring 1964, inspiring us all with his productivity and commentating on our compositional efforts, especially brightening the dusky classrooms of Clio Hall with his irrepressible charm and gentle humour.” The genius of the man A tribute in the Sunday Times magazine by Paul Driver noted: “He was the purest embodiment of genius I’ve met. He came into my life when I was about 15 and an aspiring composer. I discovered his scores in Manchester’s Henry Watson Music Library, then an archive of his manuscripts, bound volumes sitting behind glass, in the smaller, more local Swinton Library. This was surely remarkable for the composer wasn’t even 40.” Born into a modest household in Salford – his father was a foreman of an optical instruments factory – he showed an amazing aptitude for music at an early age. The Guardian suggested: “In some ways he was the archetypal self-made boy from the North, in the same mould as Richard Hoggart, with an unswerving loyalty to high culture. But unlike the effusive Hoggart, Maxwell Davies was a sphinx. He showed exactly the same mild old-fashioned courtesy to everyone, whether it was the director of a prestigious festival, or the director’s PA who brought the coffee. If there were fires underneath, they were visible only to intimates. The contrast with his contemporary Harrison Birtwistle, who quite enjoys being publicly brusque and dismissive, was striking.’ He and Birtwistle, another HF (1966-68, were part of what became known as ‘the Manchester school’, who shared a passion for anything off the curriculum, from classical Indian music or medievel and renaissance music to Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern and Igor Stravinsky right up to the latest European avant-gardists. Max the atheist monk The Guardian added: “Through his staggering productivity as a composer, his visibility as a conductor, and as someone with a high profile who was always willing to sign petitions for good causes, he seemed in one sense to be ubiquitous. Yet, in another he was a remote and elusive figure, his monk-like austerity and seriousness out of place in our era of conspicuous superfluity. He sought out only things that would fortify his inner world – the architecture of Filippo Brunelleschi or the writings of St Thomas Aquinas —were two favourite sources though he fearlessly criticised religion. While those things that simply cross
everybody’s path, such as the latest novel, exhibition or (God forbid) pop song, held no interest for him.” It could have added not just television but also electricity, which was absent from his early homes in the Orkneys.
Geoffrey Wilson (HF 1960-62) Geoffrey Wilson a celebrated reformer of the traditional English approach to the training of lawyers died aged 85 on 18 October, 2015, having suffered ill health for some years following a stroke in 2010. The two years that Geoffrey spent in America on his fellowship at Yale and Berkeley universities played a crucial part in opening his eyes to other more imaginative ways of teaching law than in England. He had had a glittering time at Cambridge where he achieved the highest exam results in each of the four years of his law course. On graduation in 1953 he was elected to a research fellowship at Queens College, which was followed by a full fellowship and university lectureship in 1955. Yet in spite of these academic successes, like a number of contemporaries he remained a severe critic of the English legal education system. He is said to have described it as too narrow, rule-bound, insular and unrealistic. He once interpreted the phrase ‘English legal scholarshp’ as ‘a disposable plastic cup’. His big breakthrough came when he was invited by Warwick University in 1967 to create a law department for the new university. There were no students there on his appointment giving him three years to set up a radically different law school. His colleague, William Twining, who became the second professor in the school in 1972, described in a Guardian obituary the three key ingredients of the new school: real life social and political problems rather than formal rules; freeing legal studies from insularity by emphasising foreign, EC and international law; and insisting that the discipline of the school’s courses offered distinctive lenses for understanding society. Twining went on: “His most striking and important departure came from Warwick’s original curriculum, which emphasised international law and included subjects not normally studied by legal undergraduates: housing, planning, company, labour, taxation, family, welfare and consumer law. When challenged about the changes Wilson replied ‘How can one understand a capitalist society without studying labour law and company law’.” On top of this he recruited a lively team of like-minded younger colleagues from several countries all set on exploring innovative new approaches to teaching law. Confident of the new ethos he had initiated, he assigned each new recruit with a particular
course and told them to get on with it. Lessons from other systems Twining reported that Geoffrey’s original curriculum was inevitably diluted, particularly in the name of student choice and new options, but Warwick Law School still has a sense of identity thanks largely to the collegiality and intellectual excitement that he inspired. There were, of course, disagreements and academic battles, but they were mainly fought within the Warwick tradition. Over time the Warwick way – broadly known as ‘law in context’ – became embedded in the mainstream. The University noted in a tribute of its own, another way in which Geoffrey broke the mould was by recognising the important changes Germany’s new approach to teaching and practising law was making. This became an integral part of the university’s main syllabus. A number of other modules emerged from the study of other foreign legal systems. Geoffrey retired from the chairmanship of the law school in 1973, but remained a professor until his retirement in 1997.
Richard Smith (HF 1959-61) Richard Smith CBE OBE has died in Patchogue NY aged 84. A British painter whose idiosyncratic explorations of form and color embraced both Pop Art and Color Field painting, he was one of the most distinctive, indefinable artists of the 1960s and ’70s. Born in Hertfordshire in 1931, Smith studied at the Luton School of Art before serving two years in the Royal Air Force in Hong Kong. After his tour in the military he studied at the Royal College of Art from 1954-57. His Harkness Fellowship (1959-61) allowed him to spend two years in New York, awash with luridly colored advertising displays and technicolor magazines, where he became a pioneer of the Pop Art movement, creating large-scale paintings inspired by Manhattan’s commercial billboards. Later Smith’s influential use of shaped canvasses sometimes physically extended into space and referred to devices used in advertising. His 1975 retrospective at the Tate was structured round his seven most influential shows. In an article for Time magazine, the critic Robert Hughes said of Smith’s paintings, “Their color was everything that color in English art was not: exotic looking, artificial, and rich.” After resettling in New York in 1976, Smith’s ‘kites’ evolved into larger-scale architectural decoration, often in response to commissions. Smith’s stock as an artist had risen and fallen dramatically through the years. In 2000 The Guardian called him “the Invisible Man.” That might have hurt, if he had not adopted, early on, a philosophical position on the art-world lottery.
NEWS & EVENTS VISIT TO SYON PARK SUMMER EVENT 11TH JUNE 2016 first visited Syon House in 1965 to write up the history of Syon Park for an ‘A’ level history project on the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The entry price in those days was 2/6d for adults and one shilling for children under 15. Thanks to HF Robert Morley our guided tour this time was almost as reasonably priced, as was a perfect lunch in the Marco Pierre White restaurant at the adjacent Hilton Hotel which concluded our visit.
Our visit was unusual for a number of reasons. We were the only group in the great house which was very special, and our guide was the gardener. Whether he was the head gardener we were not told, but he had worked for the dukes of Northumberland for sixteen years and he knew a great deal about both house and garden and was a charming and friendly guide. He pointed out to us that the view from the Long Gallery was unique in that we could see, divided by the River Thames, two entirely separate Capability Brown landscapes. After Capability Brown had fashioned the gardens at Syon, the neighbouring owner at Kew looked across the river and said, “I’d like one of those.” And so George III ordered Capability Brown to model the gardens of the palace at Kew on those at Syon, so the story goes. Syon Abbey was the only Bridgettine house in England in the 15th century and the Order was unusual in that it accommodated communities of men and women living entirely separately to follow their lives of prayer and study. It was the tenth richest house in the country and attracted recruits from the highest circles of society. According to our guide, in those times the building was “monstrous,” extremely large, with many storeys and exceeding the current footprint of the house greatly, although little is known about this building. After the Abbey’s suppression by Henry VIII, in 1539 it fell into Crown hands and we heard that Catherine Howard was allocated two rooms there before her execution in 1542. Little of the original
abbey remains now except possibly a wall at the back. In 1578 Henry Percy, ninth Earl of Northumberland was granted a lease of the Estate, and so began the residence of the Percy family at Syon, continuing, with various twists and turns, up to the present. The house we visit now offers perhaps the finest decorative scheme of Robert Adam in the country, undertaken between 1762 and 1769. Our guide explained to us how current family members have managed the house and grounds in such a way as to enable the site to be profitable and the beautiful Adam interiors to be kept in an excellent state of repair. Highlights of our visit included the magnificent Adam Great Hall graced by the two stunning sculptures of the Apollo Belvedere and the Dying Gaul at each end. The floor of the Ante Room appears strikingly modern, constructed of such soft polished scagliola (a composite of marble, fixing material and colouring matter) that stiletto heels leave marks. As we processed through the beautiful Red Drawing Room with its fine portraits and medallion-decorated ceiling to the Long Gallery our guide explained that as the gentlemen remained carousing in the dining room, the ladies moved through the Red Drawing Room to the Long Gallery where they took their exercise, unable to hear the wild behaviour of the men. Our guide invited us to rest on the sofas of the Green Drawing Room, still used by the family from time to time, and from there we were taken upstairs to the Oak Passage, and many interesting family and royal portraits, down again to the Great Conservatory, one of the finest garden buildings of its era. We hear that there are many yards of piping under the stone flags, but the oil-fired heating is far too expensive to run, so the plants that remain in the greenhouse have to be able to survive temperatures falling to minus 10 and rising to 40 degrees centigrade. Immediately following our departure from the conservatory, 260 chairs would be set out, and tables laid for a wedding feast there, providing a glorious place for nuptial celebrations – and a steady income for the estate. Judy Digney October 2016 Harkness Report 15
NEWS & EVENTS VISIT TO ELTHAM PALACE 7 JUNE 2015 “Stephen says why can’t you both stay the night here? We have a very good dormitory down below (and some spare beds) where we always sleep so even if Gerry is louder than usual, or our guns are, we can still sleep.” So wrote Ginie Courtauld to George Courtauld, the cousin of her husband, Stephen, in January 1941. She was inviting him to bed down in the bunker in the cellars beneath her lavish new home in Eltham where the family took refuge during the worst of the air raids. Its relatively spartan interior with eau de nil painted walls, rickety camp beds, wireless and billiard table, contrasts dramatically with the luxurious, ultra modern ‘art deco’ design of the rest of the house. The house, medieval hall and extensive moated gardens are surprisingly close to central London, situated as they are in a leafy corner of gritty Eltham in SE London. The family’s fears were not misplaced. In September 1940 during the Battle of Britain, over 100 incendiary bombs fell on the estate. Stephen and Virginia Courtauld began their refurbishment of Eltham Palace during the 1930s when they took a 99-year lease on Eltham Palace from the Crown and commissioned architects Seeley and Paget to build a house for them adjoining the dilapidated historic medieval Great Hall, then used as a barn. They were looking for a semi-rural property within easy reach of London. Today the building, administered by English Heritage, provides fascinating insights into what this wealthy and eccentric couple got up to in the period just before the war. Not only this, it is thanks to the Courtaulds’ restoration that we are still able to see the magnificent medieval Great Hall, initially part of a moated manor house, built by the Bishop of Durham in the 1290s, when otherwise it would have mouldered away and been lost. The house has many high points, but perhaps the most interesting is the architectural solution to the problem of how to connect the house to the Great Hall. Architects Seely and Paget solved this problem by constructing the house as the other leg of a ‘V’ shape adjoining the hall and then building the fine Entrance Hall at the fulcrum of the V so that, although triangular, it appears as a circular room. Designed by the Swedish artist, Jerk Werkmäster, the walls are lined with Australian blackbean veneer incorporating
marquetry panels, and on the floor is a magnificent circular Dorn carpet (the original being in the V&A). The style is not unlike that of a highly luxurious ocean liner. We move from room to room with our audio guides programmed to address us as guests at one of the Courtaulds’ jazzy parties, with cocktails at 6, dinner at 8 and dancing afterwards in the Great Hall. We are invited to imagine Stephen Courtauld offering us a martini in the Entrance Hall and escorting us to the splendid dining room. We see the library and a map room currently being conserved by English Heritage, serving to show how travel was such an integral part of the Courtaulds’ lives. We are also introduced to Mah Jong, Ginie’s pet lemur who has his own specially designed cage, almost the size of a bedroom, with a ladder giving access to the outside. We see the magnificent onyx-lined bathroom and gold-tapped bath with golden tessera’ed niche and sculpture of Psyche and the temple-like bedroom designed for Ginie, with separate dressing room. We note the high-tec gismos the Courtaulds introduced, the new pay phone with A and B buttons for the use of guests, interestingly noting that guests were expected to pay for their telephone
calls, the house-hoover with piping running throughout the house with skirting sockets to which the hoover in each room could be attached. This amazing contraption, with the filter, motor and collecting tank in the basement, used occasionally to blow back into the room covering the maids with soot, hair and goodness only knows what sort of detritus. We see the ‘ensuite’ basins and baths in each room, now looking more like those in a seedy b&b, but then very grand, in that each supplied cold and hot water to each bedroom. From the Entrance Hall we move through a short corridor straight to the enormous hall with its elaborate oak hammerbeam roof and underfloor heating installed by the Courtaulds. It is curious that, having spent eyewatering sums on the lavish interiors and stunning gardens of Eltham Palace, Stephen and Ginie spent barely eleven years here. But after the war London society changed irrevocably and lack of servants meant that it was difficult to run the house. In 1944 they settled in Scotland to live on Stephen’s 24,000 acre estate on the shore of Loch Etive. They moved to a new house they built on land purchased by Stephen in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1951. From 1945 to 1992 Eltham became home to various Army education units (who must have been unable to believe their luck) when the Ministry of Works took it over. English Heritage assumed responsibility in 1984. Twelve of us, including Lizzie and Theo, were blessed with a glorious day for our visit to Eltham Palace. Our group lunched pleasantly in the renovated greenhouses in the brand new visitor centre, and those that had time returned to wander through the moated garden, while the rest of us returned to our cars to ponder over the life and times of this extraordinary couple. Judy Digney
FORTHCOMING EVENTS The dates for confirmed events are: 31st October Harkness Annual Lecture, HF Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, “Can we afford the NHS?” Garden Room, Athenaeum Club, Pall Mall, 6.30 for 7pm Cost for members is £20, and the cost for the first guest is £23, but if Fellows wish to bring additional guests we are anxious to make the Annual Lecture widely accessible so for second and further guests the charge will be only £15.
29th November Harkness Fellows Returners’ Event, hosted by The Health Foundation, The Health Foundation, 90 Long Acre, London WC2E 9RA, 5.30 for 6pm This is a free event January 2017 Harkness Birthday Dinner, guest speaker HF Bamber Gascoigne, venue and date tbc RSVP to Rachel Arnold email@example.com 020 7380 6704
Harkness Fellows Association c/o The ACU Woburn House, 20-24 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9HF tel: 020 7380 6704, fax: 7387 2665 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: www.harknessfellows.org.uk 16 Harkness Report October 2016
Newsletter design and layout by Mike Krage www.kragedesign.co.uk
Published on Oct 4, 2016
The Harkness Fellows Association and Transatlantic Trust is the alumni association of Harkness Fellowships, an international exchange progra...